I’m bringing a new kind of inspiration to this episode of the Yoga Inspiration Podcast! You may not realize it, but humor is so important to our spiritual journey - especially right now. We can walk the line between appropriate and inappropriate humor, or we can use humor to help us and our fellow yoga students to cope, understand, and bring some light to an otherwise dark and confusing time. My guest, conscious comedian JP Sears, is here to discuss how humor can be a yogis best motivator.
What I love most about humor is that it takes something that’s mysterious and makes it approachable. If you’ve ever been intimidated by a yoga studio, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Being able to laugh at your awkwardness or the silliness of the poses is a great way to relax and come into your own in a yoga class. For more practiced yoga students, humor is a great way to approach meditation and keep your ego in check. At least, that’s how JP does it.
JP’s motivation for comedy came from a personal need to get his own big head back to size. He was quickly becoming aware of his own egotistical nature - as he calls it - and he wanted to bring himself back to earth.
As students of yoga, we aren’t immune to our own successes. Sometimes on our spiritual journey we can grow a little over-confident in our abilities and the role we play. That role puffs up an ego and influences the way we share our spirituality with others. Humor can be a way to tap into that side of our ego, to learn where it hides and how it feeds, and ultimately laugh at it (and ourselves).
Just like yoga students, comedians have layers. When you start to peel away the layers of their jokes, you realize that they are making some serious points. We peel away some of JP’s jokes on this episode and really talk about what it means to be a comedian during the Coronavirus. Because there’s not too much humor in this situation. There’s a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety, and JP points out ways we can still laugh in the face of trauma without disrespecting the severity of our situation.
With humor, timing is everything. Navigating when is the right time to make a joke is one big topic we discuss on this episode. Humor isn’t always going to be an appropriate response for everyone, but there are ways to use humor in a way that’s inspiring without being inappropriate.
How can we inspire ourselves with humor?
JP says to look at our lives as a spiritual practice. Too often we compartmentalize our yoga journey and our spirituality. It becomes something we only do on the yoga mat or when we meditate, which is kind of silly when you think about it. JP looks at his experiences and his relationships all as spiritual practices. Every day there are opportunities to learn by fire and discover new layers of yourself, and you don’t have to be in a yoga studio to do it.
I hope that taking this kind of approach to your spiritual journey - and being able to laugh along the way - will inspire you to continue your yoga practice throughout these sheltered times. Being able to laugh at ourselves can be immensely healing. I know that, personally, I would not have been able to work on my higher spiritual journey if I wasn’t able to laugh. When JP interviews me at the end of this episode, I explain how humor tackled my internal antagonistic paradigm of achievement, and I hope it helps you to see how humor and laughter can encourage your spiritual journey.
If you’re interested in hearing more of JP Sears’ conscious comedy, check him out every Friday night on his website - Awaken with JP.
If you’re interested in the resources I discussed today, you can find In Love with the World by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche here.
If you’re a practicing yoga student with an inspiring journey, please share a bit of your yoga journey with me and my listeners. Send me a